Introduction



Name of Project : Where are you? – A location awareness system

Objective : The objective of the project is to enable a user to locate the location of a friend. The project uses a mobile application that is running in background of the receiver’s mobile device that must have the facility of GPS (Global Positioning System). This mobile application can be used on any Symbian Series 60 or later mobile device that has an inbuilt working GPS and GPRS connection.

The system is primarily designed to aware the people about locations and to help the authorities in tracking the location of a mobile device. The system can also be used to locate a friend. The system must be used only for fare uses otherwise the facilities provided by the system can be easily misused in any dangerous activity. Therefore, some care must be taken before using the system.

Existing System

The existing system to locate the position of a friend uses an external GPS receiver to find the longitude and latitude of the receiver. It also uses an external XML-RPC (eXtended Markup Language – Remote Procedure Call) server to gain access to WMS (Web Map Service) servers that generate map images. It uses Python for Series 60 platform and it can answer a request in the form of an MMS message that is sent from the mobile phone, or as a mail that is sent from the XML-RPC server.

Existing software :
The existing mobile application has following characteristics [23] –

  1. It runs the same application for both the mobile devices.
  2. It uses Python Language for the application that only run on Symbian Series 60 platform.
  3. It uses an external Bluetooth GPS receiver.
  4. The XML – RPC server is written in PHP.
  5. It also uses a web based XML – RPC client that is also written in PHP.
  6. The communication between the clients and the server uses the HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) protocol.
  7. In this system, the mobile client receives an SMS with some special instructions and automatically fetches the position of the device using a Bluetooth GPS receiver. It then proceeds to post the position information along with other instructions from the SMS message to the XML-RPC server. The server will then fetch a map image from a WMS server and send the result to the user who wanted the information in the first place via mail, or back to the mobile phone so the mobile client can send the result as an MMS message.
  8. The system requires a relatively large amount of amount of time to complete the above described process.
  9. In this system, the starting SMS must be sent by using the client side mobile application so that proper data can be added to that SMS.

Proposed System

New Concept :
In our project, we are going to make the above process very easy and fast with fewer resources. Some characteristics of our project are:

Requirements

Project Plan :

HARDWARE:

Two real Symbian Series 60 mobile devices are required. One of them must have a built in GPS and both the devices must be capable of sending and receiving MMS.

A USB data cable is also required to transfer the application to the mobile devices.

SOFTWARE:

Following softwares are required for the implementation of the project

Implementation

The project "Where are you? – A location awareness system" is completely implemented using the Python 2.6 for Series 60 programming language.

The project uses various location based services provided by the python. A classification of location based services [18] available in python is shown in

Conclusion

After doing a project such as this I have realized the importance of technologies such as Python and Google Maps API. With this platform users can make useful applications with little effort. I have also realized how cutting edge this research is when modules used in the "Where are you?" project were released during the project. The technology is quite old, and therefore not too many problems are present now. However, the developers at Nokia, Google and Python are active in the community and are very helpful to other people that want to contribute with their own modules, such as the MMS module used in this project.

One negative aspect of developing software using S60 platform, is that the user who wants to install the software on the phone, need to install some other pieces of software first, as the user has not to do in case of Windows or J2ME. In this case, to be able to use the "Where are you?" mobile client one needs to first install the Python for Series 60 platform, then finally one can install the application itself.

This project has also brought to my attention the personal rights aspect when developing something like this. Using the modules that Nokia, Google and Python provides it is very easy to eavesdrop on an inbox by installing a small piece of software on the phone. Most people might not be aware of this and therefore do not treat their mobile phone with as much consideration as say a personal computer.

All in all this project has been quite interesting, and it is very nice to see a growing and helpful community were professionals from Nokia, Google, Python and other users interact to help each other make useful and exciting software. The project met its goals and is a good example of a proof of concept.

Contribution

Submitted by:

Under the guidance of :
Dr. SRN Reddy, Associate Professor, IGIT